If the Walkie-Talkie feature on your Apple Watch isn’t working this morning, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. Apple has disabled the feature until it can fix an exploit that allows strangers to eavesdrop using the Apple Watch microphone without your consent.
Apple says it just became aware of the issue, and the company doesn’t believe anyone has actually used the vulnerability to eavesdrop. The company says a “specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit” the vulnerability (Via TechCrunch)
We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the function as we quickly fix the issue. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible. Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously. We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent. We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.
Apple was alerted of the bug via its report a security vulnerability portal and says that there is no current evidence that it was exploited in the wild.
The company is temporarily disabling the feature entirely until a fix can be made and the update can be rolled out to devices. The app will remain installed on devices, but it will not work until it has been fixed.